Impact of Covid-19 Outbreak on Aquaponics Market-
The outbreak of Covid-19 has resulted in the improper functioning of the global supply chain of the agriculture and allied industries. A disrupted supply chain has led to an interrupted input value chain, from raw material procurement to cultivation, harvesting, and distribution. The impact of Covid-19 is expected to be low for a short duration of time due to the availability of stocked up raw materials required to grow plants and aquatic animals such as fishes, molluscs, crustaceans, and others. However, if the pandemic prolongs and trade restrictions are extended, the impact is expected to rise.
Covid-19 pandemic is expected to majorly impact the value chain and supply chain of the aquaponics market. Supply chain disruption due to trade barriers and led the farmers to rear a large number of live fishes and other aquatic species and feed them as it is difficult for them to sell their harvest amidst nationwide lockdown. This negatively impacts on the cost, expenditure, and risk borne by the farmer. Farmers relying on income from the exports markets, such as China and Europe, are expected to be impacted the most due to the closure of international borders. Additionally, closed operations of all foodservice chains have had a heavy impact on the demand for fish and shellfish. Another constraint emerged due to the COVID-19 outbreak is the difficulty in the procurement of inputs such as seed and feed, along with the availability of labour. However, small-scale domestic aquaponic farmers are expected to witness surging demand for their harvest due to the reduced import volumes of fishes, molluscs, crustaceans from the exporting countries.
Plants harvested through aquaponics are projected to register a hike in their demand due to the changing consumer preference from animal-based diet to natural and fresh plant-based diets. Additionally, permitted doorstep delivery of groceries to the customers is also boosting the sales of plants harvested through aquaponics. For instance, Gratitude Farms, UrbanKisaan, and Volcano Veggies are some of the vendors that grow vegetables through aquaponics and offer doorstep delivery to their customers. The production is expected to register a hit in the long term, if trade barriers are not uplifted resulting in disrupted supply of inputs such as seed, and few micronutrients.
MRFR’s Covid-19 analysis tool predicts the potential challenges being faced by the developing countries while sustaining their economy amidst the global pandemic. Developing countries are facing infrastructure challenges due to the unavailability of proper setup, labour availability, and logistics constraints. Globally, there has been a reduction in the fishing activity in developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Europe. Movement of fishers has also been restricted to maintain their working conditions and safety. Fishing communities are expected to become hotspots for Covid-19, owing to their migratory behavior and cross-border movements. Thus, a rise in demand for aquaponic harvest is expected to be witnessed, mainly in the domestic market rather than export markets.